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How do you get a toddler to eat?

My daughter is 22 months old and she acts and looks very healthy. However, I worry that she doesn't eat enough... She eats a few bites at every other meal. She hardly even wants to eat snacks. I don't know what to do. I feel like I have to force feed her to get more than three bites of anything into her tummy. I worry about what this could be doing to her, despite the fact she looks and acts healthy. I just don't get it. Has anyone else had this problem, and how did you solve it.

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Asked by lilismamadez at 12:57 PM on Jun. 17, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • Maybe she just eats less, I would only be worried if she started to loss alot of weight, but if she's happy and look fine, I wouln't worry

    Answer by NicholeAT at 12:59 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • i agree with the previous post. I was like that when i was around that age, what my mom did was make me sandwiches and left them where i could get them if i got hungry. You could try leaving things like a grilled cheese sandwich cut into squars or triangles, It all depends on what she'll eat. Maybe you could let her help make her sandwiches, and maybe she'll be more willing to eat it if she can help make it. She will eat when she's hungry, dont force her to eat it could have a neg impact, and she could end up having an unhealthy relationship with food. You could try pediasure, if your worried about her getting the vitamins she needs.

    Answer by vgiron at 1:09 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • That's what I do. When I fix a meal I always pull up a chair and let her help/watch me cook. I cook 3 or 4 times a day (breakfast, luch, dinner, sometimes I cook brunch too) and I'll usually leave the meal on the table until the next meal time for her to grab if she wants. But generally, she doesn't. She's not a picky eater, she'll eat anything if she is just in the mood for eating, although she tends not to like meat except chicken. It's just so frustrating to put so much time and energy and money into food that goes into the trash. A lot of times I'll have her sit at the table while I eat with her, and she won't eat her food but loves to eat mine (which is the exact same thing, lol). So I dunno...

    Answer by lilismamadez at 1:15 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • omg my son is doing that thing where he throws his dinner off the edge of his high chair and i was a little worried about what to do about it but the dr said that alot of toddlers do that at this age and that he will eat when he is hungry and not to worry about it too much as long as he is a healthy weight then he is fine. if you get really worried too you could give him a multivitamin, just ask the dr first. good luck! =)

    Answer by disheveled at 1:42 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • This is just one of the joys of raising a toddler. Sometimes they just seem to happily exist without food. Keep offering healthy choices and don't make a big deal of it. I agree that making sure she's drinking is good but make sure she isn't drinking too much. At meals, offer food before milk. There's only so much room in their little stomachs!

    Answer by momofryan07 at 1:49 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • Doctors will tell you not to worry if she isnt eatting..She will eat when she hungery. It's more important to make sure she drinks her fluids..

    But, if you want her to eat..try cutting her foods into fun shapes ABC's whatever..might be getting bored with the same foods..but if you change the way they look, you stand a better chance of getting her to eat delete your answer

    Answer by Novmeber2006 at 1:50 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • This is normal for a toddler. They do not eat much for days at a time.

    What to do?
    Your job is to buy healthy foods, make scheduled meals and snacks, put the food in front of your child.
    Your CHILD's job is to eat when she is hungry and eat as much (or as little) as she wants.

    Trying to force your child to eat more because you think she should eat more may actually cause her to eat less (there's been lots of research on this subject). Even bribing her with a cookie, praising her for eating, or pushing her to eat "just one more bite" can cause her to dig in her heels and refuse to eat at all.

    Have set meal and snack times. Put good things to eat in front of your child. Then stand back and let her decide what to do with that food.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 2:57 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • I don't really have an answer for yah.. my daughter is the same way. Between 11 months and 14 months she managed to drop 2 lbs though, so her doctor is having me give her pediasure every day for the added nutrients and calories. Thankfully at her 15 month check up she had gained a little bit of weight, so that helped!

    I still can hardly get her to eat anything though.

    Answer by Skye-Angel at 9:55 PM on Jun. 17, 2009

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